The NFL has managed to add more gray area to injury reports, as if they couldn’t become more muddled.
The league will no longer use the “Probable” label to define a player’s readiness to play, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. The league has also broadened the usage of “Questionable,” and “Doubtful.”
There’s apparently no longer a need for teams to list players as “Probable” because, as Florio states, 95 percent of players who were listed as probable in prior years were able to play normally. Essentially, probable meant definite and it was rare for a player listed as probable to not participate.
It makes sense to remove that jargon if it isn’t necessary, but the removal of “Probable” has muddled what “Questionable” and “Doubtful” truly mean.
According to Florio, when a player is listed as questionable it means it is uncertain whether the player will play in the game. If a player is doubtful, it means it is unlikely the player will participate.
That isn’t vague at all! This makes it more probable that a questionable player doesn’t play.
Before this change, questionable meant there was a 50/50 chance the player would take the field, while doubtful meant there was a 75 percent chance the player wouldn’t play.
Now, teams can be even more coy with injury reports. Don’t be surprised to see teams take advantage of the ambiguity of the questionable definition.
This could make fans, especially those who play fantasy football, go crazy. And who can blame them?